Welcome to The Morning Forum of Los Altos website
The Morning Forum of Los Altos celebrates its 71st year of bringing distinguished speakers, both local and national figures, to a pleasant and friendly venue convenient to mid Peninsula residents. Our speakers are university professors, journalists, government representative, activists, authors, musicians, and other experts in their fields. The wide range of topics as well as the eminence of the speakers has kept subscribers and their attendance consistently high for many years. A quick look at the “Archives” tab about previous speakers will confirm why the Morning Forum has remained so popular.
For our Fall/Winter program all presentations will be delivered by webinar. Returning and new subscribers will receive a zoom link for these programs. Programs take place from 10 am to 11:30 am on the first and third Tuesday of each month, starting in September. Beginning March 1st, Winter/Spring 2022 Morning Forum programs will be presented both in person and live stream lectures for the remaining seven lectures
At this site you will see the current Board organization, the schedule of programs for the current season, and learn about the history of The Morning Forum of Los Altos. If you are new to The Morning Forum there is information in the Membership section about how to become a series member.
Present Board of Directors 2021-June 2022
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About The Morning Forum of Los Altos
The Morning Forum of Los Altos meets from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, starting the season in September and continuing into June of the following calendar year. As mentioned above, in-person lectures will take place in the chancel of the Los Altos United Methodist Church at 655 Magdelena Avenue March 1st through June 7th. We will also offer livestream lectures for members.
Click on Contact for directions to the Los Altos Methodist Church and a map. A series subscription to The Morning Forum of Los Altos is required for attendance at the presentations. Tickets for individual speakers are not available. To purchase a series subscription please download an application form from our website.
The Morning Forum of Los Altos is an all-volunteer organization. Funding for programs and expenses come from member dues, donations, and occasional legacy gifts. All donations, gifts and grants received are used to support our programs. This year, grants have been received from The Los Altos Community Foundation funded by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and The David and Ann Crockett Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
The Morning Forum of Los Altos does not present political candidates. It attempts to present balanced programs. the Program committee looks at issues that are likely to draw attention, and then procures speakers to address these issues.
Over the past 70 years, the Morning Forum has brought nationally-known figures to Los Altos, including noted anthropologist Margaret Mead, Henry Kissinger, then a Harvard professor, James Reston of the New York Times, feminist Gloria Steinem, Dr. William Perry, 19th U.S. Secretary of Defense, and most recently, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eichenberry. Many jounalists and authors have spoken, including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tobias Wolff, Belva Davis, Robin Wright, Isabel Wilkerson, Martha Raddatz, David Kennedy (Stanford University Professor of History), Kathleen Sullivan (Stanford Dean and Professor of Law), and Presidential Historian Michael Bechloss.
The Founding of The Morning Forum of Los Altos In the 1930’s, a dozen women, all newcomers to Los Altos, used to meet at the home of Mrs. Frederica Rohrer to discuss current events, new books, and the “burning issues of the day.” From that nucleus in the 1940’s, the group, numbering forty-nine, became part of the national Delphian Society, which concentrated its study on culture and the arts. Local speakers, generally professors from San Jose State and Stanford, would give a talk, answer questions, and then be given lunch or a dessert and coffee.
The women eventually decided to broaden their interest and create a local study group in which they would set the agenda. After disbanding their affiliation with the Delphian Society, the women from Los Altos and Mountain View created the new organization they called, “The Morning Forum of Los Altos.” The board defined the object of the organization as, “general cultural and intellectual stimulation through the giving and receiving of opinions with an open and tolerant attitude.”
Their first meeting was in September 1950 in the San Antonio Women’s Clubhouse with 49 members. The group’s first speaker, Julia Easley, a San Jose State attorney, talked about “California Law for Women.” At later meetings guests gave book reports and presented play readings. The World Affairs Council of Northern California, of which the Morning Forum was an affiliate, also provided speakers who spoke on “problems of Asia and the Pacific Area.”
By the group’s second year, membership had grown to seventy-one; and by the third year, it was over one hundred. By year four, the membership had grown to over two hundred and fifty; and by the sixth year it had expanded to over four hundred and was then open to men. Members came from almost every city in the area, from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, with the largest number coming from the areas near Los Altos. The board now sought speakers both locally and nationally and they no longer settled for a free lunch! In 1950 the early founders could hardly have envisioned that their organization would grow to its present membership.
How to Become a Series Member
To purchase a series subscription, click on the website Membership tab and download an application form. Mail your completed form with a check to The Morning Forum of Los Altos, Box 274, Los Altos, CA 94023.